1st The Cards lose a critical game to the Cubs, 3–1, as Bob Chipman bests Cubs nemesis Harry Brecheen. Hal Jeffcoat homers for the Cubs.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers lose to Philadelphia, 6–4, preserving the one-game Brooklyn margin. The Phils pole 3 homers in the last 3 frames with Roe, working on one day’s rest, getting the loss.
The Red Sox need to win just one of the final 2 games against New York to clinch the title. Before a crowd of 69,551 at Yankee Stadium, New York overcomes a 4–0 deficit, as Joe Page is nearly untouchable in 5 innings in relief of Allie Reynolds. Page walks in 2 runs, but he picks up the win. Bobby Doerr has 2 hits but grounds into his 31stdouble play, a ML record eventually broken by another Sox player, Jim Rice. Joe DiMaggio starts for New York and scores the first run and Johnny Lindell’s HR wins it, 5–4. The two teams are now tied.
Alex Kellner wins his 20th beating the Senators, 7–4, to finish the season as the A’s first 20-game winner since Lefty Grove in 1933. The A’s, 81-73, finish the year with the same record as the Phillies, but the Phils are in 3rd place and the Mackmen in 5th. The Phils, one of 6 teams to have an attendance increase, draw 834,348, while the A’s draw 816,514, a drop of 128,562.
2nd The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox enter the final day of the season tied for first place. Nearly 70,000 pack Yankee Stadium to see the finale. Heightening the drama, it is Joe DiMaggio Day with an hour-long tribute to the star preceding the game. Among the gifts given to Joltin’ Joe are a car, another car for him mother, a sppedboat from New Haven fans, several televisions, a bike for his son Joe, a300 quarts of ice cream and a crate of oranges. Rizzuto starts the game with a triple and scores in the 1st inning and Vic Raschi nurses the 1–0 lead into the 8th against Ellis Kinder before the Yankees score 4 against a tired reliever Mel Parnell and an unlucky Tex Hughson. Henrich greets Parnell with a homerun. The Sox rally in the 9th as Bobby Doerr hits a triple over Joe DiMaggio, running on shaky legs. DiMaggio calls time and dramatically takes himself out of the game. The Sox score no more and the Yankees win the game and the pennant, 5–3. Ted Williams is hitless in 2 official trips (and 1-for-12 in his last 4 games) while George Kell of the Tigers goes 2-for-3. Kell’s final mark is .3429 while Williams’ is .3427. Ted leads the AL in homers (43) and ties for the lead with teammate Vern Stephens in RBIs with 159. He also reaches base 358 times (194 hits, 162 walks, and 2 hit by pitches), the 2nd highest total in ML history. Only Ruth in 1923 reached more times. Kell is the first third baseman to win a batting crown, and his 13 strikeouts is the lowest for a batting leader.
One game back on the final day, the Cards finally win, 13–5, over the Cubs, and await the progress of the Dodgers against the Phils. Musial hits 2 homers and a single and winning pitcher Howie Pollet collects 3 hits. Hank Sauer poles his 31st for the Bruins in the 9th.
The Phillies shell Don Newcombe and tie the game 7–7 in the 6thafter the Dodgers had built a 5-0 lead. The game goes overtime before the Dodgers get 2 in the 10th for the win and the pennant. Jack Banta picks up his 10th win with 4+ innings of shutout relief. Jackie Robinson has a pair of hits to finish the year with the NL batting title at .342. Musial is 4 points behind. Robby also steals 2 bases to finish with an NL high of 37. He is the last national Leaguer this century to lead in both cetegories in the same year. Reese is second with 26 steal and 4 players tie for 3rd place with 12 steals. Robinson is also caught stealing for the 32nd time, also the NL high.
In a promotional stunt, the Browns use a different pitcher in each of 9 innings against the Chicago and almost pull it off. But the White Sox win, 4–3. Roy Sievers, soon to be named Rookie of the Year, is 5-for-5, including his 16th HR. The 9 pitchers used is, incidentally, a ML record. All the Brownie pitchers, except for Al Papai, allow at least a hit. In game 2, 20-year-old Ed Albrecht, a 29-game winner for Pine Bluff (Class C Cotton States League), makes his winning debut and gives up 1 hit in a 5–3 win, called after 5 innings because of darkness. It’s his only ML win. The lone Sox hit off Albrecht is a 2-run triple by SS Jim Baumer, who will make his next ML appearance with the 1961 Reds. He is the only player to play in the 40s and 60s, and not the 50s.
A future pitching trend is foretold by the record of Yankee ace Allie Reynolds (17-6), who finishes only 4 of 31 starts. Dave Koslo of the Giants is the surprise ERA leader in the NL, but his 2.50 mark contains not a single shutout.
5th In the Series opener at the Stadium, the New York Yankees and Allie Reynolds beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 1–0 on Tommy Henrich’s 9th-inning HR off Don Newcombe. Newcombe had struck out 11 and walked none before Henrich’s blast. Allie Reynolds gives up only 2 hits and fans 9. Henrich’s hit is the first game-ending homer is WS history: there will be 10 more this century, including 2 that win the Series.
6th Another 1–0 game, and Preacher Roe wins this one for Brooklyn to knot the Series. Gil Hodges’ single drives in Jackie Robinson in the 2nd for the winner.
7th The 9th inning decides the 3rd game also. At Ebbets Field, with the game tied 1–1, the Yanks score 3, the Dodgers 2 in the final stanza. Johnny Mize’s 2-run pinch single is the big factor followed by Jerry Coleman’s run-scoring hit. Roy Campanella and Luis Olmo hit bases-empty HRs in the bottom of the 9th.
Danny Gardella drops his suit against baseball, settling out of court for a reported $80,000. All other suits by players who had jumped to Mexico have been dropped. Gardella will state in 1961 that the amount paid to him was $60,000.
8th Allie Reynolds relieves Lopat with 2 on and 2 out in the 6th, strikes out Johnny Jorgensen on 3 pitches, and then retires the next 9 batters. The Yankees win 6–4.
The Philadelphia A’s trade C Buddy Rosar to the Red Sox for Billy Hitchcock.
9th The Yankees pound the Dodgers 10–6 to win the WS in 5 games. Pinch hitter and 3B Bobby Brown is the hitting hero, batting .500 and driving in 5 runs.
12th In Los Angeles, former Browns pitcher Blackie Schwamb murders Dr. Donald Bage in the course of collecting a debt for a bookie, and will be sentenced to life in prison. Schwamb will throw three no-hitters while playing for Folsom Prison and San Quentin, his third, in 1955, coming against a team led by Woodie Held. Blackie will be paroled in 1960 and sign with the Hawaii Islanders (AAA) in 1961 at the age of 34.
15th Dodgers GM Branch Rickey sells P Paul Minner and 1B Preston Ward to the Cubs for $100,000. He also offers the Brooklyn Bridge for another $100,000.
17th Hollywood producer Frederick Stephani signs high school phenom Paul Pettit to a personal services contract “as an actor or an athlete” for $85,000.. In January, four days after Pettit graduates from Lomita, CA high school where he threw three successive no-hitters, Stephani will sell the contract to the Pirates for $100,000, retaining the rights to the acting talents.
19th Three weeks after acquiring SS Chico Carrasquel from the Dodgers organization for cash and 2 minor leaguers, the White Sox steal 2B Nellie Fox from the A’s for C Joe Tipton, who hit .204. A 1960 book entitled The Go Go Chicago White Sox states that Tipton was in the dog house during the season after a May 1st game in which the Browns came back to score 8 runs in the 9th inning because of Tipton’s alleged errant pitch calling.
26th The San Francisco Seals (PCL), managed by Lefty O’Doul, finish a tour of the Orient that includes 5 games in Japan, one of which draws 100,000